Tom Powers: It's 2006 again for Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano

Full story: TwinCities.com 8
Several of the Twins said they are considering sending a festive fruit basket or some other lovely gift to Francisco Liriano for his yeoman work against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Full Story
gopherextra

Eden Prairie, MN

#1 Apr 15, 2010
wow!!

Since: Feb 08

Baldwin City, KS

#2 Apr 15, 2010
I'm not convinced yet, but I'm looking up recipes for crow just in case.
brachiosaurus

Taunton, MA

#3 Apr 15, 2010
It sounds like the usual set-up for a big disappointment. Yes, Liriano is better. But no, it isn't 2006 when Liriano was throwing an 89 to 90 mph slider. Yes, Liriano has apparently eased off on the number of sliders he throws. But, his slider is slower--it doesn't have the wicked velocity of 2006. The fastball, however, is closer to 2006 velocity and movement but is still an mph or two below. As long as Liriano can spot his fastball and it has the movement, his slider will be very effective. Liriano started using the change-up later in the game. Eventually, after a fastball start, it was a mix of pitches and decent control that beat the Boston cry babies. The slider was especially effective because Liriano estabished the fastball. It wasn't, however, shear power and the wicked slider that dominated Boston hitters. It was keeping them off balance. Liriano can manage it when he's composed and not trying to over power. He get a lot of ground ball outs today.

Liriano remains a dream. People need to keep his ability and contributions in perspective. The Twins need a solid performance from Liriano, but if they and their fans think that Liriano is the ace the team lacks, there will be a lot of disappointed people. Let's settle for a solid guy who can pitch as well as any one else in the rotation. We should avoid the the Liriano mirage based on one good performance. If there are repeats, okay, we'll all be drinking from the oasis.

“Noses run and feet smell”

Since: Dec 08

Compton CA

#4 Apr 16, 2010
Tom Powers: kind of a gutsy statement. He had 1 a pretty good start against the White sox, but still allowing 3 runs, and a great game yesterday shutting out the Red Sox. Are you going to write an article titled "It's 2009 again for Liriano" after he has a couple bad starts? He is bound to get in to some trouble sooner or later this season. It may be too early to tell whether or not he is in the same dominating role as he was in 2006.

The key stat to me is that he has pitched into or past the 6th inning and has thrown at least 90 pitches in both starts so far. If he can get past the first couple innings i think he will be ok, he usually gets in the zone by then, but the opposing teams are ready to jump on any mistake he makes early. Yesterday he was successful because of his 17 first ball strikes to the 27 batters he faced and only 2 walks. thats huge!

Since: Dec 09

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Apr 16, 2010
Francisco Liriano isn't the same guy as 2006, but that's a good thing. 2006 Liriano was a super-talented thrower that wrecked his arm with a wild torquing motion that would have damaged his shoulder socket if it hadn't popped his TJ ligament.

A year after surgery, it took Liriano a lot of time to learn to pitch again because he needed to learn to measure his stride to avoid damage and to develop some command of his fastball. In 2009 he developed a bad habit of tipping his pitches with his shoulders, which got him bombed and hurt his confidence.

This year he's measuring his stride most of the time, except occasionally when he gets over-excited, like yesterday after he struck a guy out on 3 pitches, then tried to throw a fastball 100mph. His shoulders flew open and the pitch sailed high right. Took him a few more pitches to get his form back, but he did.

The results of Liriano's new discipline are: Fastball, 93-94 and he can spot it, straight 4-seam or bending 2-seam, usually low in the zone; Circle-change, 83, great disguise and it fades left and down; Slider, 83-85, breaks explosively down and right; Curve ball...haven't seen enough of them to evaluate.

Today's Francisco Liriano is a pitcher, not just a thrower. He has learned how to correct his stride after one bad pitch, resulting in vastly better control of his fastball, which gets strikes ahead of his coup de gras slider. If he starts throwing that circle change for strike three, he could have a year like Frank Viola. Even if he just sticks to the fastball/slider, he's going to shut down a lot of good batters.
Nail Creek Jack

Weyerhaeuser, WI

#6 Apr 16, 2010
One great start does not make it season, but if he can get 15-20 wins during the season that would be great. His attitude will make a great difference as well; when you know what to throw and how to throw it--that helps greatly. The team as a whole have many plus' and very few minus', so the season should be a great one. The season is very early and many things can happen to the Twins as well as the other teams, so keep that in mind. Great manager, great team and great new ballpark will make 2010 an interesting season to the Minnesota fans.
Billy Ringo

Waseca, MN

#7 Apr 16, 2010
Twins are the second best team in the AL.

“Aspiring Human”

Since: Jan 09

Florida

#8 Apr 16, 2010
Christ its two starts for him, I am so sick of these bandwagon fans (maybe even myself included) that think this team is the second coming of the 76 reds or something. Yeah they are off to a good start, and yeah I think they will squeeze into the playoffs but there is still 162 games in a season right?? Not just ten. I'm concerned about the bullpen and the bats getting tired. And don't even get me started on another ALDS versus the Yankees.

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